The recent revelation that Steven Avery's request to watch Making a Murderer (a TV series all about his case) in prison was denied has raised questions as to whether the docuseries' other subject has been able to binge-watch with the rest of us. While there is no official word on whether Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey, has been granted any access to the show, statements from his lawyer allude to the likelihood that Dassey hasn't watched Making A Murderer while serving his life sentence.
Avery and his nephew — who was 16 at the time he was arrested — were charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. Dassey's trial revolved largely around reportedly questionable police interrogations and a confession Dassey claimed he was manipulated into giving.
In an interview with Forbes, Dassey's lawyer Laura Nirider said that her client is still coming to understand just how big of an impact the docuseries has had on the general public:
Behind the four walls of a prison without, obviously, a Netflix subscription, it’s hard to understand how big Making a Murderer has gotten. He’s understanding it. He is hopeful. He is grateful. He wants his fair shot. That’s all.
Earlier in the month, Nirider spoke to Esquire about the current status of Dassey's case, and said that he and his family knew that the show had placed his legal case in the national spotlight. "Absolutely. They're aware. Brendan is overwhelmed. He's grateful. He's just hoping for his fair shot." She did not mention whether Dassey himself had watched the 10-part series in the Green Bay Correctional Facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he is currently serving his sentence.
Making a Murderer directors Moira Demos and Laura Riccardi said Avery had been denied his request to screen the series during a panel held at the Television Critics Association in California Sunday.
Dassey's attorneys have recently filed a writ of habeas corpus in federal court, which requests that the now-26-year-old be granted a new trial on the grounds that his original confession was unconstitutionally coerced and that his pretrial lawyer, Len Kachinsky, violated his constitutional right to a loyal attorney. Kachinsky has denied that his representation was the reason Dassey went to prison.
Without a retrial, Dassey's chances of getting to spend a weekend binge-watching the show that made him both a household name and an Internet meme are slim, given prison regulations and Netflix subscription policies. But Making a Murderer fans can take some comfort in the fact he has indeed heard their cries of outrage from his cell.